David L. Kirp is a Professor of the Graduate School and Emeritus Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has written 17 books—including Kids First: Five Big Ideas for Transforming Children’s Lives and America’s Future, The College Dropout Scandal, and Improbable Scholars: The Rebirth of a Great American School System and a Strategy for American Education, the last of which was named outstanding book of 2013 by the American Educational Research Association. He drafted a policy framework for early education as a member of President Obama’s transition team and was also a member of President Biden's transition team for early education.
Kirp was the founding director of the Harvard Center for Law and Education. He is a frequent contributor to the New York Times and Los Angeles Times. He has served as a member of the boards of Friends of the Children and the Frameworks Institute, and is a member of the international advisory committee of Escuela Nueva, a Colombia-based nonprofit that in the past quarter-century has educated millions of children in the developing world.